May 8, 2008


I'm not trying to scoff at or dismiss the well-detailed post Aristophanes wrote here, but the answer is the same single word I've been saying for months if not years now: spite.

The Clinton backers were, in the simplest of schoolyard analysis, wrong. And that really pisses them off. So now they're looking for a series of "defeat with dignity" excuses to rationalize why they're wrong. It appears that this is going to be seating Florida and Michigan and a lot of whining that Obama cheated.

Which, for the record, I called two months ago. But Matt Yglesias said it even more succinctly today, and it still holds.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:10 AM

May 7, 2008

Not that this means anything

So, apparently, the last day of the Democratic National Convention, when Barack Obama will deliver his acceptance speech, is August 28, 2008. That just happens to be the 45th anniversary of another speech you may have heard about.

I know the Convention was planned years in advance, but... seriously. Someone in the DNC scheduling department just got a bonus.

Update: Huh. So apparently Sullivan's reader e-mails are from real people after all.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:52 AM

May 6, 2008

Super Tuesday changed everything

My college roommate Chris, who introduced me to blogging during the time we shared a dorm at NYU, had a good friend through their respective blogs. Their friendship ended when 9/11 happened and the friend, for a lack of a better or more tasteful description, went absolutely batshit insane. This was someone who was a smart, funny, talented and cheerful writer and after the war started someting just switched on in her and she decided to not just support the war in Iraq but actively become one of the prominent voices in the growing "warblogger" community.

There aren't a lot of warblogs left these days, because, well, the war went to shit and all the bloggers like her who converted their entire online personas to rants about how bloggers like me were stupid, pretentious, and hated America found themselves being humiliatingly wrong to the tune of a few thousand dead Americans. Only the bloggers like John Hindraker and Glenn Reynolds, who never had shame to begin with, John Cole, who suprisingly repented, and Michelle Malkin, who is actually the devil, remained.

Anyway, I'm not saying all that to raise a fight with long-lost "9/11 changed how I think of everything" bloggers. They can live with and work out their own demons. But I wanted to point this out because what made those blogs so anger-inducing, and in fact quite frightening, wasn't just that they were rabidly pro-Bush and pro-war, but because they were simply just rabid. Even the slightest inkling of a pro-Kerry or anti-war view sent them screaming into a frothing rage. Careers were ruined, excuses were made, smug high-fives were exchanged.

I say this all now because only this morning did I remember, reading some liberal pro-Hillary bloggers, where I'd seen all this before. And I apologize if it's a terrible analogy but I really do believe it. Formerly rational liberal bloggers are writing about Clinton the way these warbloggers went insane after 9/11.

This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. I agree with Sadly, No in that having read Corrente for years now I would have thought this post was a complete joke- a mockery of applying ridiculous post-9/11 right-winger rhetoric to the 2008 Democratic primary. But it's not. They are saying this now. TalkLeft, which apparently delinked me last week, was one of the first blogs I read regularly, and Jeralyn Merritt was one of my earliest fans. I recall, vaguely, that it used to be a blog about legal issues or something like that. It's apparently been cyber-squatted by a raving lunatic who writes about Obama supporters the way Michelle Malkin writes about people whose last name contain the letter Z.

I have no idea what happened to these people, but at least when the warbloggers went batshit a bunch of terrorists actually had to murder a few thousand people first. This time around, the enemy are simply smart people. "The creative class?" "Latte-sipping?" Can Lambert just copy-paste from Jonah Goldberg circa 2002, call Obama supporters "Cheese-eating Surrender Monkeys" and get it the fuck over with?

As I noted before, much like the psychotic cheerleaders for Bush and the war, things went really, really badly for these people. And it's a damn shame that these bloggers don't realize what a hollow shell of formerly decent blogs they're going to be left with after they strip every piece of copper wiring out of them to melt into ammo to fire at other Democrats.

I hope they can at least understand what they're giving up here, the way those warbloggers gave up so much for their fervent worldview, as they told off gay friends because "winning the war was more important than stopping the Marriage Amendment," as they accused their opponents of being stupid, of being hateful, of being "deranged," and then helped to get the Republican elected. I hope the Hillary fanatics know this: There is no overnight healing process here. These are wounds that still hurt, and there are scars that are permanent. And by all means, feel free to do whatever it is you actually believe in. But if you really do believe this shit you're spewing, please try to find a few warblogs from 2003 or so and read how they sounded. It'll help you understand in 2009 why no one is forgiving you any time soon.

Update: I got a lot of responses to this, some from angry Hillary supporters and general contrarians. Look, I really didn't think that it's necessary to offer the caveat in every. single. thread about the primary that both sides have assholes. Yes, there are asshole Obama supporters. And the misogyny hurled at Clinton during the last eleven months (let alone the last eleven years) from both Obama supporters and people who just plain hate Hillary is inexcusable.

But the exploitation of national mood undergone by the Clinton campaign remains the most blatant and disgusting I've seen since the months following the 9/11 attacks. There was a difference between saying you initially supported the War on Terror and the people I was talking about above- essentially, to co-opt a term I and some other readers have used, the sudden argument from ex-liberal bloggers that 9/11 suddenly made them realize Ted Kennedy was a murderer. Because as the war in Iraq became more and more blatantly stupid, the only two options were A. accept you were completely wrong or B. declare your opponents to be, quite literally, enemies.

Short of Bush's CPAC cronies, Hillary Clinton is the most stubborn politician I have ever seen in my life. She shifted her campaign to a strategy of never remotely suggeting the notion that she could possibly be wrong about something, even when, quite literally, every expert in the world disagreed with her. That was the logic of the Bush administration post-9/11. And it's what turned formerly rational people into lunatics because they simply couldn't accept the idea of being wrong about something. That's what makes over half the country think global warming isn't real. It's what makes John McCain now support turture.

This isn't politics; it's the fundemental construct of human education. When you are not taught when something is wrong, you become stupid. Ergo, if you want people to be stupid, you don't teach them when they're wrong. 9/11 created a very large number of stupid people; to let that happen with the Democratic primary is unforgivable.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:11 AM

May 5, 2008

"You're all idiots"

Latest comic - click here!

Apparently, the last hurl of a kitchen sink involves topping even the rhetoric of George W. Bush in declaring that everyone on the entire face of the planet is an "elitist" for pointing out your idea to buy people's vote for about twenty bucks is an awful one. Let's imagine, for a moment, that the Clinton campaign's gas tax rebate idea was, instead, the sudden declaration that evolution isn't real, or that only abstinence-only sex ed should be taught in schools. And when told, flat-out, that this was contrary to what every single expert on said topic actually believed, it was scoffed at by saying that those were merely "quote-unquote experts." I imagine that even the most hollow shells of formerly dignified political discussion sites wouldn't simply praise what a "great political strategy" this was. Because maybe, just maybe, we want smart people in the White House again.

Let's just put it out there: Hillary Clinton's strategy is, quite literally, hoping every Indiana voter is incredibly, incredibly stupid. And regardless of leanings in the Democratic primary I don't understand why so few people seem to be outright insulted by that. I suppose given the remaining plausible scenarios in Clinton's path to victory call for such desperate measures, but to stoop to this level truly does leave me awestruck.

Thanks to everyone who sent in ideas for the list of most embarrassing Bush administration moments. I'll try to update the list in the next few days. Until then, buy some crap and join the mailing list.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:07 AM